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Tsunami Survival Video

Did you guys watch this?

Literally as they seek shelter and try to get on a higher ground level, the tsunami waves come crashing under them as if it was a scene out of a movie.

Just think of those who weren’t as lucky. But at the same time it’s nice to see strangers helping strangers, isn’t it?


 P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

9.0 Earthquake

If a 8.9 9.0 earthquake isn’t a wakeup call for you, I don’t know what will be one. The devastation that the earthquake and the consequential tsunami has caused is going to take many many years to rebuild.

The videos, pictures, first person reports are heart-breaking to say the least.

I’ve embedded just of those below:

I don’t know whether natural disasters like major earthquakes are happening more often now or whether we just hear more about them now because of technological advances, but either way – it’s a real eye opener.

What makes this one even worse is that it’s not just a natural disaster that is of a worry to people, but the consequences of nuclear plants that is leaking radiation too as a result of the significantly large earthquake.

Google has set up a Crisis Response page, so head over there to see how you can help.

My mom’s cousin actually resides in Japan with his wife, but fortunately their area was not affected.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.

 P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Politics and Possibilities, Part Two

This is a continuation of this.

A combination of loud neighbors, sirens going off all night outside, and just being in a new place equaled a sleepless night on Monday. As much as I love the city life, I definitely don’t see myself living in one.

On the agenda for the second day: the Department of Justice/Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Rutgers Federal Relations and the Haitian embassy.

Thankfully, there were no cancellations that day (at least that we were made aware of) and things ran a lot more smoothly. Without a doubt, the faculty member we traveled with and her supervisor had realized how annoyed we were at how the previous day had gone by (especially considering the fact that they have done this for so many years).

One of the things the man we spoke to at the department of justice talked to us about was how he has four brothers and all are either in prison currently or in the process of going back to prison and ironically this man works for the department of justice/federal bureau of prisons. This came up as we discussing peoples’ backgrounds and where they grew up and how your upbringing effects what you do in life. His point basically was that even with adversity, it is what you do that effects what you become in your life.

At the Rutgers Federal Relations office, we spoke to two Rutgers alumni’s. We talked about the budget cuts that would be effecting education and its impact on schools everywhere, especially Rutgers. I’ve talked over and over again about how I feel about education, and it is so sad that tuition fees keep going up, yet resources and classes that are offered (amongst many other things) keep getting cut.

Our final stop was the Haitian embassy. As we were walking there we passed the embassies of so many different countries, so that was pretty neat (especially trying to figure out what country some of the flags represented).

Anyone with half a heart has to be beyond devastated in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Haiti in January. Such a large natural disaster can create havoc anywhere, and for it to effect the poorest nation – one can only imagine!

Of course, the number one question on everyones’ mind was ‘what can we do for help?’. The man used the example of bottled water. One of the things that people continue to donate is bottled water – because if you think about it, their rational thinking is probably that water is a necessity and Haitians need it. Well, they are partly correct – they do need water, but instead of exporting water there… what they need is money to build things up once again so they can provide things for themselves.

He also told us a chilling story that gave me goosebumps. A friend of his (person A) works in an embassy (I think – I might be misremembering the place, but that’s not really important) in Haiti and it was a frantic and busy day at work. While he was doing his work, a friend of his (person B) called him and said he really needed help down at his office and if he (person A) could please come down right away. Person A told Person B that he was really busy and that he would come down later, but person B kept insisting and said ‘you would be a lifesaver’ if you came down and helped. Person A finally annoyingly agreed and as he was on his way to person B, the earthquake struck. The outcome was that Person A’s office was completely destroyed and everyone died… but person A survived because of person B!

Person A told the guy we spoke to how guilty he felt and also how person B had said ‘you would be a lifesaver’, yet person B had saved person A’s life. It’s amazing, yet so sad. The situation was completely out of his control, yet you can’t help but realize how torn the man must feel. Thankful and fortunate that he survived, yet feeling horrible that all of his colleagues died.

After visiting the Haitian embassy, we headed back to our hotel to get to our van and head back home (not before the faculty member and her supervisor wasted another half hour though).

It was pretty weird that we went to Washington D.C. and didn’t even see the White House or the monuments and memorials, considering that pretty much defines D.C.

You would think driving a four and a half hour drive (one way) and spending two days with four other students (I did know one of them from last semester) and two faculty members you have never met before would be awkward, but luckily the other four students were easy to get along with and even in the car ride – we all were talking from everything from movies to political events (we were all political science students after all!). I think who you are with makes all the difference, so it was definitely a good thing.

All in all, we got to speak to several people who gave us great advice and were quite informative, so at the end of the day – I’m glad I went.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Initial Thoughts on Earthquake in Chile

There’s nothing more disheartening than waking up and reading breaking news alerts of a massive earthquake – one of an 8.8 magnitude and that tsunami’s have already occurred in some places.

It was interesting to hear that the officials in Chile would not call it a tsunami, and instead referred to it as a ‘large wave that washed over’ the small island… but I guess its one of those things they do to not create more chaos.

It’s apparently the strongest earthquake to hit in over 50 years.

I think it’s safe to say that since the big 2004 earthquake/tsunami disaster, every time I hear about tsunami warnings, my stomach gets in a knot just thinking of the possible outcome. Yes, the chances are slim – but very possible.

That fact that there have already been over 52 strong aftershocks in under twelve hours since the earthquake really makes you think about what is going on in that part of the world.

Hoping the tsunami watches that are for about 27 different counties – including the west coast of the U.S. is just for precautionary measures and nothing comes out of it. But at the same time, it’s kinda crazy that we are basically waiting for the tsunami waves.

UPDATE (3:47 PM): I just came across this via Twitter on The Huffington Post and boy does it give you some perspective. It’s the 8.8 magnitude earthquake caught on camera:

Praying for the people of Chile,

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Remarkable Rescue in Haiti

I saw this on my brother’s blog and i had to share it as well. What a remarkable story : a seven year old boy and his sister were found alive and in relatively good shape seven days after the disasterious earthquake that hit their region in Haiti.

Here’s a clip:

(The previous link I put up was only viewable from within the United States – and I’m not sure if this one is the same or not. I would appreciate it if you let me know whether you can see it or not).

I found myself tearing and smiling at the same time. What’s more amazing is stories like these are still coming out. And it just goes to show you to never underestimate life.

As Faraz said: ‘stop taking what you have for granted.’

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Thoughts on Earthquake in Haiti

I’m sure, by now, everyone has heard of the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti earlier this week on Tuesday that has caused so much destruction, left so many people homeless and without food, injured countless people, and killed over 45 thousand people (and counting; the number is expected to sky rocket tremendously). Not to mention the amount of ‘missing’ people that are still unaccounted for.

I keep reading in the news and through twitter that government officials in Haiti are pleading for basic essentials like water and food, and aid to treat the injured. That they don’t have the capacity to treat the injured. That they lack the technology in so many aspects, such as being able to locate people and notify their families elsewhere that they have been accounted for in one sense or another.

At the same time, technology has gone so far in our part of the world through the White House blog people learned that they can donate ten dollars at a time by simply texting ‘HAITI’ to ‘90999’ and confirming their donations when prompted. The ten dollar donation will appear on your next cell phone bill and a 100% of it will go to Red Cross to help those effected by this earthquake.

It gets you thinking about how much you take for granted on a daily basis and how much we have to be thankful for. It also got me thinking about the fact that it takes a catastrophe like an earthquake for people to really count their blessings.

But you know what – I also thought about the fact that it was once again proved that when we really need to… we can rally together as one collective group of people for a worthy cause. A couple of hours ago I was reading on twitter that through cell phone donations alone the Red Cross and Yele organizations have received donations of over six million dollars combined! Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.